A 23-year-old Dartmouth man — who used to be the Halifax Mooseheads’ mascot — is running for prime minister.
Well, on TV that is.
Robert Marsh, who spent a year in the “Hal” mascot suit in 2003, was chosen as one of the four finalists in CBC’s Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister.
So how would entertaining as a mascot prepare him for Canada’s top political job?
“I think the biggest thing would be dealing with people,” he said. “Hal didn’t have a voice, but he had a personality.”
A lot of people have good ideas when it comes to politics, but it takes “unique” individuals to actually inspire others to come together, he said.
“I mean, Barack Obama doesn’t have mascot experience, but he still has good rallying and connecting experience.”
After competing in debates and challenges, four young people are chosen to compete for the love of four judges and a studio audience.
The judges aren’t Randy and Paula, but rather four former prime ministers: Brian Mulroney, Joe Clark, Kim Campbell and Paul Martin.
The audience chooses the winner, who takes home $50,000 and paid internships at Magna International, The Dominion Institute and the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program.
The show airs March 18, but it was filmed in February. Marsh was sworn to secrecy until the air date.
“Friends are asking me strategic questions every day to see how I’ll answer them, like if I have any new clothes,” he said.
“I can’t wait until next Wednesday because I won’t have to hide anything from anyone.”
Marsh will be watching it in Toronto where he works for an insurance company.
The former student council president at Prince Andrew high school, has been in Ontario for a few years now since going to school there.
“I’ll never identify myself as a Torontonian, which is no offence to my Toronto friends and colleagues,” said Marsh, who intends to come home eventually.
“Every reason I’m here is because of my experiences on the East Coast.”